Gerard Morson featured on 2GB discussing personal injury claims - 14 September 2021
Gerard Morson providing Q & A on the 2GB Deborah Knight Show discussing personal injury claims - 14 September 2021
DK – Deborah Knight/GM – Gerard Morson /C1,2,3, etc – Callers
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Read the transcript below:
DK And it is our regular segment, legal matters, today we are talking personal injury and the open line number is 131 873, maybe you’ve been hurt while you’ve been out and about or in the workplace, in the office or while you’re working away from the office, working from home, could you have grounds for compensation. 131 873, the text line 0460 873 873, and as always we’ve got out $100 Westfield voucher for the caller who asks the best question during our legal matters segment. Gerard Morson from Turner Freeman is on the line for us now, Gerard thank you for joining us, I know that we’ve got the new freedoms, small baby steps but people can picnic again in NSW and the weather was warm over the weekend, kids were out and about on the play equipment, what’s the situation if someone is hurt on, in a public ground, in a public park, on play equipment, would you have grounds for compensation?
GM Good afternoon Deborah, thanks for having me again this afternoon, it certainly was beautiful weather over the weekend and hopefully these restrictions continue to ease as our vaccinations increase, in regards to someone that’s injured on this beautiful play equipment that our councils put in our parks, the answer is they could have a claim against the council, it largely depends on the circumstances of the injury and whether the equipment’s been maintained properly, so if the council were aware of a dodgy swing that was dangerous and people have been complaining about it and didn’t do anything to remediate that, then of course there’d be a pretty straightforward case there but as most cases are and go, it depends on the specific circumstances.
DK And how often do you see people trying to take a local council to Court on these sorts of issues, because I guess it all comes down, in many regards to personal responsibility whether or not it’s the council at fault or the individual, and as you say with different circumstances that that will dictate whether or not someone might have grounds for compensation, but is that one of the more common areas in which people do try to seek some sort of financial recourse?
GM Yes indeed, so playgrounds are obviously notorious, kids love to get in there and run around and jump and flip and have a whole lot of fun and hopefully not hurt themselves in the process. It’s just really a matter of the council keeping up with the building standards, the relevant building standards for that particular equipment and regular keeping an eye on the parks, regular audits, regular maintenance and these things should generally be avoided but you never know what’s around the corner unfortunately and these playground cases as well as perhaps trips and falls on dodgy footpaths are the more common cases we see.
DK Yeah, a lot of, I know with our own family, my mum took a fall on a dodgy footpath but a lot of councils do have built in, it makes it very difficult for people to actually make legitimate claims, so it’s a challenging area. 131 873 is the number to call if you’ve got a question, free legal advice, 131 873 or the text line 0460 873 873. Gerard on the other side of the ledger you’ve got people who you know, go in extreme sports, dangerous sports and often even things like go-karting which can lead to dangerous situations, you’ve got to sign a waiver and a lot of businesses are required to get you to sign a waiver before you can actually take part, but we had this case recently, an 11 year old girl was killed after her family’s aircraft nosedived in the Hawkesbury, now the family has tried to take Sydney Sea Planes to Court over the death, what was the claim in this regard?
GM I saw this recently Deborah, very tragic circumstances of course, the plane obviously nosedived into the body of water and the daughter’s family, the 11 year old daughter’s family tried to take that company to Court, I think they started in the federal jurisdiction because of what I can only assume is a forensic decision with the case, because the law in regards to NSW for dangerous recreational activities is quite strong in terms of business operators and people conducting those activities, it’s difficult to bring a claim in those circumstances. Again, it depends on the specific actual situation but the case, that particular case started in the Federal Court, it was moved to the Supreme Court but was thrown out on a technical issue, I suspect they tried to avoid the Supreme Court given there was a decision 15 years ago of a learner trainee pilot that crashed his plane and couldn’t, the family or the estate of that plaintiff could not recover compensation because they deemed the flight, even though it was learning, it had to be a dangerous recreational activity, flying itself, so it’s a tricky area of law and certainly needs to have the magnifying glass over it to make a proper legal decision as to whether you are going to litigate it or not.
DK So what are the most common personal injury claims, Gerard, because people think of the accidents and where people do get injured, do car crashes count as part of personal injury?
GM Absolutely, so the most common types of personal injury cases we see can probably be shrunk down into three areas, car accidents, workplace accidents and the type of matters we’ve just been discussing you’d call public liability claims, so certainly if you’re injured on the road, under the new motor accidents scheme in place from 1 December 2017, all injured road users are entitled to statutory compensation entitlements for wages and medical expenses for the first six months after their accident or injury and then there’s other qualifications and thresholds they need to meet to receive compensation thereafter, but certainly car accidents, work incidents, work injuries and public liability injuries are what we see being the bulk of our personal injury work and there’s of course medical negligence cases as well that we act on and try and help people.
DK And in terms of the proof that you need that an injury is a result of someone else and not your fault, how conclusive do you need to be? Because I think a lot of people are sort of concerned about whether or not they should go further and seek legal advice if they don’t have proof that there was, you know the person was at fault or the piece of equipment was at fault, what do you actually need to back it up with.
GM Evidence is everything in this, in life I guess and especially in the law, so I would say firstly if someone is injured, certainly get the immediate medical treatment and attention they need and then if possible, if it’s a car accident, take photographs of the damage, exchange details with the other driver, if for example the dodgy footpath or bad play equipment caused an injury, take some photographs of it, with smart phones they’re generally time stamped, see a doctor so there’s those contemporaneous medical records and then when things settle in the following weeks of course see a lawyer. If it’s a work injury, it doesn’t have to be a frank injury whereby a specific incident causes an injury, you know lifting a 200 kilogram box and hurting your back, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that, a process worker that works on a conveyer belt or a production line and a picker and packer can develop sort of, what we call nature and conditions claims, carpal tunnel injuries, bilateral shoulder injuries that develop over a period of time, so they can make a claim as well and quite simply best thing to do is see a doctor and then perhaps if they’re not sure, it doesn’t hurt to call a lawyer or call a lawyer at Turner Freeman Lawyers.
GM Certainly have a conversation.
DK Alright, good on you Gerard, thank you for joining us. Gerard Morson there and Turner Freeman Lawyers provide a range of specialised legal services, compensation negligence law, asbestos litigation, superannuation and disability claims, employment law, wills and estates and property law. If you want to get legal advice from them they’re a goof port of call, 131 873 is the number, that you can call for us and if you want to reach Turner Freeman Lawyers their number is 13 43 63 or their website turnerfreeman.com.au.